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Meet Bradley Bongiovanni of Wholistic Medicine Specialists of Atlanta in Alpharetta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bradley Bongiovanni.

Bradley, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
From the age of four, I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. I knew I wanted to help people. I wanted to listen to patients, empathize with them, problem solve for them. Not just once, but for their life. I wanted to be in relationship with them and their families in way that mattered to the well-being of their entire lives. That’s what I thought being a doctor was…in 1974.

In 1991, I was a senior in college, getting my pre-med degree and preparing for entry into medical school. As part of this process, I immersed myself in the traditional medicine world. I volunteered in doctor’s offices, I worked as an aide in the local hospital ER, I did research at the local medical school, and I became an EMT. At every turn, I was disappointed in my experience looking at a future career as a medical doctor.

I did not see doctors spending time with patients, relating with patients, helping understand WHY they were sick. I saw a factory full of patients on an assembly line with the goal of matching symptoms with medications as fast as humanly possible and barking orders to everyone else to fulfill any other patient needs. This was symptom management only, and this was not for me.

I can’t remember if it was Phil Donahue or Oprah, but I saw Dr. Bernie Siegel, a Yale oncologist, on TV talking about exceptional cancer patients and the aspects that make them exceptional. Not about what drugs are exceptional. He discussed how he delivers cancer care in the context of caring for the WHOLE patient…body, mind and spirit. This was all a revelation to me, and I was very intrigued.

I picked up his book, “Love, Medicine and Miracles” and my career journey officially began. This was a book talking about the relational aspects of being a doctor, written by a doctor, and yes, a MEDICAL doctor. This was what I wanted to be/do. It led me other books written by “alternative” medical doctors like Larry Dossey, Deepak Chopra (before he was a household name) and Andrew Weil to name a few. These were all books (written by MDs!), discussing and defining a wholistic approach to medicine. From there, I discovered alternative forms and systems of medicine, such as chiropractic, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and homeopathy.

At the age of 23, I finally found it ALL encompassed in something called “naturopathic medicine”. This was a science-based system of natural medicine that held a deep respect for the healing powers of nature and our bodies, as well as the role of doctor as teacher, a focus on identifying the treating the cause of illness, and the penultimate tenet of ALL of medicine which naturopathy absolutely embodies…first, do no harm.

I was immediately hooked. I found a platform of medicine that encompassed the same academic coursework found in traditional medical school curricula (anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry). Yet in addition to exposure and education on pharmacologic/medication-based approaches to treatment, we spent 2 years on coursework learning about natural healing modalities like clean eating, optimizing nutritional status, herbal and homeopathic medicines, and more that could be applied in the exact same family practice settings as your typical MD/general/family practitioner.

After graduation, I went on to complete a highly coveted residency opportunity and began my career as the doctor I had been dreaming about becoming since I was a boy. A doctor that greets every new patient with a deep sense of care, curiosity, intrigue and the desire to not only help the patient improve their health today, but for their entire life, and to do so in a caring, empathetic and effective manner.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not smooth at all! 🙂

I first practiced in Massachusetts where my license is not recognized and where I was employed by a venture capital company looking to prove a concept, which made for an interesting experience. I then moved to GA to work for a specialized laboratory as a medical advisor which was very eye opening and educational about the world of clinical laboratory medicine. I got to see how the sausage was made! I then went to work for a renowned/celebrity doctor in New York City, but very soon realized his methods and clientele were not in line with my values…. which was a great learning experience to prepare me for opening up my OWN practice here in GA in 2004!

Wholistic Medicine Specialists of Atlanta – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
At Wholistic Medicine Specialists of Atlanta, we help coachable people biohack their biology to uncover the root causes of their health challenges. By providing a clear, functional medicine-based roadmap, we empower people to truly flourish and become their best selves.

Dr. Brad Bongiovanni is the founder and Chief Transformation Officer of Wholistic Medicine Specialists of Atlanta, Dr. Bongiovanni is famous for combining innovative laboratory and genomic assessments with cutting-edge natural medicines to help serious individuals improve their health, performance and fulfillment in life. He’s made regular media appearances on FOX, NBC and ABC affiliates as well as CNN here in Atlanta, GA. In 2016, he was an invited speaker at Harvard where he spoke on ‘nutritional psychiatry’.

Dr. Bongiovanni is committed to a philosophy where he sees health as more than just the absence of disease, but a true function of participation in life. This manifests in a practice style that incorporates conventional Naturopathic/Functional Medicine with wellness & lifestyle education focused on helping his patients implement a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Bongiovanni earned his B.S. degree from the University of Richmond and then his Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from NCNM in 1997, as well as a family practice residency in 1998. Dr. Bongiovanni has an extraordinary background in clinical medicine, laboratory medicine, international continuing medical education, corporate/executive leadership, and transpersonal psychology. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for Sanesco International, Inc., an educational company specializing in assessment and correction of HPA axis function.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success in my business very simply…if I have helped people become the very best version of themselves so they that they can fulfill their God-given purpose…if I have been part of the process of helping you become the BEST YOU possible…. then I feel I have been successful.

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Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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